Liquor might not solve all your problems.
But it’s worth a shot.
And there’s probably no better place to examine the hypothesis than at TT Liquor on Kingsland Road – because it has a full four storeys’ worth of high-proof experiences, cocktails, and masterclasses with which to test it. The building itself is a huge, converted Victorian police station that looks like, well, like it’s been converted from a Victorian police station: brick walls, stone slab floors, and caged liquor bottles (framed by their captors with subtle low light) surround the beautifully aged wooden fittings. Here’s how it all breaks down:
ROOFTOP | The Terrace
Designed by some folks from an award-winning Finnish landscape designing outfit (Taina Suonio), this tavern-topper has a very Scandi-evoking all-natural, all-wooden vibe with greenery scattered throughout. The whole thing is basically a big, L-shaped oasis, with tables lining one ‘arm’ and heated booths lining the other.
Capping off one end is the bar, where they’re serving a standalone spritz menu of inventive, bubbly-topped numbers like the Berlin Calling (rosé & grapefruit topped with cardamom soda), as well as wines, cocktails (including a barrel-aged Martinez) and, as you might expect, draught rhubarb cider. It’s got its own food menu too, courtesy of Good Fired Pizza (featuring pepperoni with hot honey, a four-cheese calzone, etc.), which acts as a lovely metaphor for the terrace itself: a lovely base made all the better by the topping.
GROUND FLOOR | The Liquor Store
You’ll enter through what looks like an innocent side street liquor store, before drinking in the sight of over 1,000 different booze bottles populating the shelves. The selection varies from garden variety to ultra-rare vintages, and is buttressed by gift sets, glassware, and lockable “deposit boxes” for you to keep anything you purchase on-site. Of course, there’ll be a bewilderingly knowledgeable shopkeeper on hand to talk you through it all, but you could simply skip straight to the next step –
BASEMENT | The Cocktail Bar
Downstairs, the vintage-style cellar bar is surrounded by small alcove areas which formerly made up the jail cells (the reprobates they host these days are probably there to take one of the guided ‘tasting experiences’ including classes on whisky, rum, gin, plus local & worldwide beers), while the cocktails on offer are drawn from historical eras dating back to the Belle Epoque, right through to the present day. You’ll find quenchers like the Midnight Run (blending rum, port, blackberries, and syrup); the Dorian (mixing whisky and hazelnut syrup); and the Dante Cooler (whose floral Gamay wine is offset with blood orange puree & raspberries) – or, sample one from every era with their ‘Journey’ flight.
Alternatively, you can head…
OUT THE BACK | The Cinema
Yes, like any self-respecting cocktail-bar-inside-a-former-police-station, they’ve converted one of the back rooms into an intimate, 52-seater cinema room, with retro seating, original wooden floors and romantic lighting. It’s here that they hold monthly screenings of classic films, from The Big Lebowski to The Italian Job, each of which come with a complimentary welcome cocktail inspired by the film itself.
And if that impresses you enough, you can always book into…
TOP FLOOR | The Masterclasses
The upper deck of the venue is made up of lounge-like creative spaces for booze-soaked masterclasses – they’ve actually been teaching the art of cocktail shaking/stirring/drinking here for several years, and they’ve apparently got the practice down to a fine art.
Just pray they don’t give you any, ugh, homework.
NOTE: The TT Liquor bar is open 5pm-midnight, Tuesday-Saturday. You can book a table – or their masterclasses, screening nights and tasting experiences – right HERE.
TT Liquor | 17b Kingsland Road, E2 8AA
Want to grab a bite before heading down there? Then get thee to Tapas Brindisa…